3 Kids, 1 School, 1 Year Only

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We have hit a major milestone in our family, one I won’t ever take for granted. This is the only year all three of the girls will attend the same school, unless of course Olivia fails a grade, or Carrie skips several, neither of which I foresee happening.  I’ve been looking forward to this year for well, years. I’m not only happy to have one drop-off, but ecstatic to have zero preschool tuition bills. That saved money should go into the kids’ 529 accounts, but probably won’t.

The girls have been just as ready as I have been to go back to school. Their backpacks have been packed for days and their clothes laid out. As is tradition, we stopped by the school on Friday to check the class lists. As expected, Carrie got the same kindergarten teacher as her older sisters had. I hope that means the teacher likes our family.  For months, Erin was concerned about getting a certain 2nd grade teacher because her 1st grade teacher said she was strict. As we scanned the class lists, we saw Erin was indeed in that teacher’s class, but so was her best friend. Crisis averted, or so I thought.  Olivia wasn’t so much concerned about her teacher, as she was about who was going to be in her class. For the last two years, she and two of her closest friends have been in the same class. This year, one friend is in a different class.

Fast-forward to today, the first day of school. All three woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. In honor of the big day, the husband fired up the waffle maker and served up homemade waffles and bacon for breakfast.

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After a hot breakfast and double checking they all had their lunches, new school supplies, and shoes on their feet, we did what millions of other parents do this time of year. We took pictures.

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I saw plenty of awesome Pinterest inspired first-day-of school photos on Facebook that were oh so clever. That didn’t happen with me. I already know they’re in 5th, 2nd, and Kindergarten, and now so do you. I was lucky to get the front door pictures, and one group shot of  them with their eyes (mostly) open, smiles on their faces, and all looking at the camera.

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With school starting at 8:05 for Olivia and 10 minutes later for the younger two, I count it as a success making it with time to spare on the first day.

Being the 10-year old that she is, I was convinced Olivia wouldn’t let me and my camera near her classroom. She proved me wrong, not only allowing it, but also flashing a fabulous smile.

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Of course when I thanked her, she rolled her eyes and said, “Whatever Mom. You can go now.” She then pushed me out of her classroom. Yep, there’s my ‘tween with attitude.

I decided I’d walk Carrie to her class and the husband would stay with Erin. That did not sit well with Erin. While I helped Carrie find her table and name tag,

That's her nervous smile
That’s her nervous smile

the husband tried to help Erin while she melted down. I’m not sure if she was upset about me not being with her, fear of the so-called strict teacher (who by the way I’ve heard nothing but great things), nerves, or a combination of all three. When I made it to the classroom, I could tell she was upset, but I didn’t see tears. Those started up again once she saw me. I’ve got to hand it to her though, she composed herself pretty quickly, gruffly using the back of her hand to wipe the big fat tears that kept streaming down her face. I felt terrible leaving her, but it was time to go. I walked away, but came back to peek through the window. By that time, the tears stopped, and I got a small thumbs up from her.

Erin didn't want me to take the picture, so I took a wide shot. She's in the far back.
Erin didn’t want me to take the picture, so I took a wide shot. She’s in the far back, off to the right.

The fear or nerves must have subsided pretty quickly because when I called home after-school, Erin happily told me all about playing with her friends. When I asked if she thought this year was going to be as good as last year, she said yes. That one word helped, but didn’t completely erase the guilt I felt all day at work.

I’ve got a good feeling about this year. I’m going to savor and enjoy it. Hopefully, the girls will too.

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